As the Global Dressage Forum, after 11 successful years, finally attained broad support by all stakeholders in dressage, a second Global Dressage Forum was announced to take place in Florida in the beginning of 2013. A reason for confusion. Some explanation is helpful. Being asked about the Florida Global Forum, Joep Bartels, who is the GDF organiser since 2001 and a fellow board member of the new founded umbrella Global Dressage Foundation, commented as follows: "We don't object to a North American initiative or whatever initiative. We even have set the goal and aim to open up possibilities to spread over the world and to vary in the place to held the Global Dressage Forum. Apart from this, it is always great when clinics and seminars increase the knowledge about our sport. I even like to add that the organiser of the new Florida Forum and myself have talked for some time about a possible cooperation. To have another Global Dressage Forum in three months' time without the involvement of our Foundation and program committee, is not our idea however.
It is hard enough to get all stakeholders to one yearly meeting in the world to discuss training methods and developments. Unfortunately the organisers in Florida went their own way, copied not only the title of the GDF but most of the program too, which I sincerely regret", said Bartels.
It looks like the original Global Dressage Forum, which operates under an independent umbrella created by all stakeholders in dressage, is copied now by a commercial American initiative using its title and goodwill. It seems strange that no further action is taken by the original Global Dressage Forum and its stakeholders to prevent the North American organisers to go ahead and to protect the GDF. Joep Bartels concludes: "We have too much arguments in the world already. I think it's up to our audiences to decide. I hope in the end the Global Dressage Foundation will prove its strength and will prove to be the one and only as it is already, looking to our history."
Her Royal Highness Princess Benedikte of Denmark is the President of the Global Dressage Foundation, which is now responsible for the program of the "original" Forum. In her opening speech on the 29th of October she said "that there is only one Global Dressage Forum, uniting all stakeholders in dressage.This year, the initiative was taken by those stakeholders to support the organisers by creating a Foundation to guarantee the continuity of the GDF, to ensure that the high standards set by Academy Bartels would remain and that the GDF would be kept as a unique international umbrella for dressage.
Together with the representatives of the Stakeholders, the GDF's future is ensured and will continue to contribute in a major way to the sport of dressage", so said Her Royal Highness.